A Talk with our CTO: TVSquared’s Origins & the Evolution of TV

A few weeks ago, our CTO, Kevin O’Reilly, told the  story of TVSquared’s start and discussed the evolution of TV with Andy Plesser of Beet.TV. We’ve pulled some highlights below, but you can watch the interview in its entirety here.

TV is Not Dying

In the video interview, Kevin explained that marketing has become increasingly complex in recent years due to the proliferation of media. Throughout these changes, some have declared the “death of TV.” While it makes for a great headline, in reality, that statement simply doesn’t hold up.

According to Kevin, “the world’s changing, but at about 5% a year … when we look out to the next two-to-five years, we still see a major amount of people consuming television and it still being the powerful reach mechanism that it is.”

Measure & Optimize TV (Just Like Digital)

Most advertisers know that TV works, but that’s about it. They can’t tell you what aspects of the buy were most effective or how spots drove response via different touch points.

This is where TVSquared comes in. The company was started to answer two questions. First, can I measure TV quickly and accurately? Second, can I optimize TV campaigns to improve response? The answer to both questions is “yes.”

Kevin spoke about TVSquared’s origins and explained how its technology lets advertisers, “see all the brand traffic, website, mobile app, phone, vanity URL, etc. … and then see the direct impact a TV ad has on these response points.” Ultimately, TVSquared shows advertisers what parts of a TV buy are working (and what aren’t) and provides the insights needed to optimize performance.

Check out the entire video to hear more industry insights from our CTO, including:

  • How TVSquared’s technology works and a sneak peek our roadmap
  • The role of automated content recognition (ACR) for TV attribution
  • What to expect with linear/pay TV and OTT in 2018

TVSquared erwirbt wywy und eröffnet Büro in Deutschland

Eine Symbiose aus Echtzeit-Spot-Erkennung und TV Attribution der Spitzenklasse

EDINBURGH und NEW YORK – 14. Nov. 2017 – TVSquared, der Goldstandard für Wirkungsmessung und Optimierung von Fernsehwerbung, hat wywy, Technologieanbieter im Bereich Echtzeit-TV-Spot-Erkennung mit Firmensitz in München, erworben. Die Übernahme bildet die Grundlage für die Eröffnung des Münchner Büros von TVSquared zur optimalen Unterstützung von Kunden in Deutschland und anderen europäischen Ländern th.

Damit verbindet TVSquared seine weltweit führende ADvantage TV Attribution-Plattform mit der automatisierten TV-Inhaltserkennungs-Technologie von wywy. Akkurate Echtzeit-TV-Spot-Erkennungsdaten stehen ADvantage Nutzern ab sofort zur Verfügung, wodurch in noch kürzerer Zeit Erkenntnisse zur TV-Werbewirkung gewonnen werden können.

Mit TVSquared wird Fernsehen zu einem Performance-getriebenen Marketingkanal. In Echtzeit können Werbetreibende ihre TV-Spot-Schaltungen sehen, die Performance analysieren und feststellen, inwiefern sich ihr Werbeeinsatz ausgezahlt hat.

Anhand dieser Erkenntnisse können Kunden von TVSquared regelmäßig Ihre Kampagnen optimieren und Umsätze durch Finetuning in der TV-Werbestrategie steigern.

Calum Smeaton, CEO und Gründer von TVSquared:

“Für TV-Werbetreibende ist es eine Herausforderung, akkurate TV-Spot-Erkennungsdaten schnell beziehen zu können. wywys hervorragende TV-Spot-Erkennung in die ADvantage Plattform zu integrieren, verbessert den gesamten Prozess durch unschlagbare Geschwindigkeit und Genauigkeit. ADvantage ist somit das zuverlässigste end-to-end Tool zur Optimierung der Strategie und Performance von Fernsehwerbung.”

Zu TVSquareds Expansion in den deutschen Markt fügt Smeaton hinzu:

“Deutschland ist ein starker TV Markt. Es ist einer der größten Wachstumsmärkte für TVSquared. Mit der Eröffnung unseres Münchner Büros setzen wir ein deutliches Zeichen für optimale Vor-Ort-Unterstützung unserer Werbekunden, Agenturen und Sendeanstalten im deutschsprachigen Raum.”

Über TVSquared

Mehr als 600 Werbetreibende, Agenturen und Sender nutzen TVSquared in 58 Ländern, um die Effektivität ihrer TV-Kampagnen um bis zu 80 % zu steigern. Sehen Sie Ihren eigenen TV-Spot, messen und optimieren Sie die Werbewirkung in Echtzeit! Erfahren Sie mehr unter www.tvsquared.com.

TVSquared Acquires wywy; Opens TVSquared Germany

Combines Real-Time Spot Detection with World-Class TV Attribution

EDINBURGH and NEW YORK – Nov. 14, 2017 – TVSquared, the gold-standard for TV measurement and optimization, has acquired wywy, a provider of real-time spot-detection technology, headquartered in Germany. The acquisition also marks the opening of TVSquared’s Munich office, providing ground support for Germany and other European clients.

The acquisition combines TVSquared’s world-class ADvantage TV attribution platform with wywy’s automated content recognition technology. ADvantage users can now access real-time, accurate, spot-detection data within the platform, making time to TV insights even faster.

TVSquared enables TV to be a performance-driven channel. In real-time, advertisers see their spots, analyze performance and know if their investments have worked or not. Leveraging those insights, TVSquared customers regularly optimize campaigns and fine-tune TV strategies to increase sales.

Calum Smeaton, CEO and founder of TVSquared, said:

“Getting accurate spot data quickly is a challenge for TV advertisers. Integrating wywy’s stellar spot detection into the ADvantage platform brings an unrivaled level of speed and accuracy to the process. With even faster time-to-results, ADvantage is the most robust, end-to-end tool for optimizing TV strategy and performance.”

On TVSquared’s expansion into Germany, Smeaton added:

“Germany is a strong TV market. It’s also been one of TVSquared’s fastest growing regions. With the opening of our Munich office, we’re committed to providing on-the-ground support for our German brands, agencies and broadcasters.”

About TVSquared

More than 600 brands, agencies and networks in 58 countries use TVSquared to improve TV campaign effectiveness up to 80%. See your spot, measure its impact in real-time and optimize TV for maximum performance. Learn more at www.tvsquared.com.

Live Sports: Get the “Best Bang for Your TV Buck”

Meg Coyle, Content Director


Sporting events present some of the best times to get in front of a massive audience. As those viewers, we expect to be “wowed” with new and exciting creatives that we can talk about at work the next week.

But for an advertiser, at the end of the day, the only thing that really matters is the impact the spot had on business. Did it drive sales, search, site visits, registrations, foot traffic? When Super Bowl ads run between $4-5M a pop, and even the Olympics, while considerably less expensive, command $100K+, advertisers are under pressure to prove that spots drive revenue.

With the rise of digital and the age of active-participation viewers – those second-screening when watching TV – advertisers are thinking differently about TV as a performance-marketing channel. Thanks to new analytics platforms, savvy advertisers are no longer just blasting out spots and hoping they’ll drive engagement. Rather, they are taking advantage of TV’s wide reach, but incorporating a level of precision to target the right people, in the places and times they are most likely to respond.

So how does this relate to advertising during sporting events? Well, with timely data analysis, advertisers measure the impact of TV spots on KPIs – whether that is site visits, registrations, charity donations, sign-ups, etc. – and identify not only the games, but even the times within those games, that drive the greatest response.

One of my favorite examples of this is from the 2016 Euros. We looked at UK search traffic for Betway and Bet365 during the England vs. Slovakia match. Spots ran at the times they would drive the most response: before the event started and at halftime. Not coincidentally, those are the times that people are most likely to place bets. Both companies saw measurable uplift in online traffic corresponding with their TV ads, which ran shortly before the start and at halftime, respectively.

This type of analysis can be generated right after a spot airs. Advertisers can see the immediate impact of spots, and not just online, but on SMS, mobile, call centers, retail sales, app activity and more. They can understand the networks, days, times and programs generating response and improve the efficiency of underperforming spots in-flight.

Best Practices

Advertisers that make the biggest impact during sporting events – and across TV – typically leverage data analytics technology and follow similar best practices:

  1. They plan based on response, not ratings. Major sporting events attract a lot of viewers, but that doesn’t mean that this untargeted, mass audience will engage with a brand. Ratings data tells advertisers nothing about campaign performance. Rather, advertisers analyze spot and response data to plan TV based on efficiency and performance – the real-world actions generated from an ad.

Analytics identify the creatives, games (and the times within those games) that result in the most response via web, call centers, search, app activity, SMS, retail sales, etc. For example, the Super Bowl might have brought you 110+ million viewers, but data could show that Game 2 of the NBA Finals drew 3x the amount of response to a certain spot.

2. They make changes in-flight. A growing number of advertisers are leveraging more flexible buy opportunities to make day, daypart, network and creative changes to improve the efficiency of on-air spots – especially during multi-day/week sporting events. During the Olympics, same-day spot and response analysis could show an advertiser that speed skating events aired between 2:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. on CNBC drive the greatest response. They can then make day-of changes to improve spot effectiveness.

3. They inform media-mix strategies. Advertisers leverage data analysis to understand how TV influences other online and offline channels, like digital, radio and print. Some even conduct “what if” scenarios to test mix changes leading up to an event to ensure effectiveness. This is especially important in the age of the connected consumer – when close to 90% of viewers second-screen when watching TV and, if interested, immediately engage with a brand.

Brand Safety Concerns: Good for TV?

There’s no escaping today’s “brand safety” discussion within the advertising industry. Reports of ads appearing on fake news sites or alongside extremist content are continuing to make worldwide headlines, and advertisers are increasingly demanding more control and visibility into where their content appears.

Digital has borne the brunt of these brand-safety issues. And while there has been much talk about offline taking cues from online to improve ad measurement and optimization, in the case of brand safety, digital can learn a lot from TV.

In the meantime, some broadcasters have actually seen ad spend increase, as advertisers have flocked back to TV as a safe haven for their brands. For instance, Channel 4 saw record revenue following the YouTube scandal, as advertisers turned to TV for its consistent power and control over ad placements.

While Channel 4 acknowledged that the revenue increase is likely a temporary jump, it helped Channel 4 reach just shy of GBP1bn in annual revenues (up from GBP995m in 2016). Now, let’s be fair — TV is not immune to brand safety risks. But as digital continues to iron out the creases when it comes to brand safety, we may see some slowdown among advertisers shifting ad spend from TV to digital. In fact, in the short term, we may even continue to see a reversal — with global brands following the likes of P&G and coming back to TV after digital ad experiences that were far from ideal.

“TV is dead” will always make for an attention-grabbing headline, but the reality is that the medium isn’t going anywhere. Commercial TV reaches 91.9% of the U.K. population each week, and the average viewer now sees 45 TV ads per day. According to eMarketer, the average U.K. adult is spending about 3 hours with traditional TV each day, and it still takes the lion’s share when it comes to video, with digital viewing at only 53 minutes per day.

TV provides a guaranteed audience, content protection, and — thanks to new technologies and real-time measurement — targeting and optimization. Advertisers can be sure how much bang they are getting for their TV bucks.

YouTube’s brand safety struggle has served to highlight the iron grip that advertisers have on their image with TV. Why? Because with TV, advertisers buy content and context; with digital, they buy the person.

The ability of digital to target audiences and follow customers around the web by “chasing the cookie” has been enticing for advertisers until recently. While traditional media buying remained content-driven, digital was focused on the person and — when done right ­– the payout can be significant. However, advertisers now understand they are also potentially giving up control over where and when their ads appear across the web.

With widespread propagation comes minimal regulation and increased risk of oversight — which is evidenced with the open ad marketplace, where advertisers buy inexpensive inventory but lose command over where and when the ads run. This means that  many digital advertisers have been left wondering exactly how their content ended up targeting people on sites with fake news or explicit content.

With TV, the advertiser expects content protection. In the case of prime-time shows, the advertiser may even have access to episode descriptions in advance. They can purchase with the knowledge that there are stringent content approval processes in place, so they are unlikely to receive any unwanted surprises.

The Holy Grail for advertisers is to create a positive brand association with the right audience, around the right context — it’s not all about messaging. For both offline and online channels, this is just how brands are built. It’s now time for digital to step up when it comes to brand safety.

While Channel 4 said this increase in ad spend marks a temporary spike, TV as an industry should be more optimistic as it has much more than brand safety to offer advertisers. We may not continue to see huge revenue spikes, but digital’s brand safety woes could ensure a boost to TV ad spend in the long run — or at least become another prompt for the slowdown in migration to digital advertising.

The New KPIs for TV Advertising

If you’re only relying on reach and frequency metrics, you’re missing out.



Define and measure performance-based KPIs that are unique to your brand

Solely rely on old-school metrics like CPM, GRP and ratings; they don’t tell you about real-world results

Consider media planning as business-outcomes planning – they are one and the same

Spend all your TV budget based on pre-buy metrics – there’s too much guesswork involved

Think about intent-based metrics for higher-consideration/price-point brands

Assume KPIs are relevant for all advertisers – the best metrics are brand-specific

Leverage first-party, same-day data analysis to ensure measurement is based on real-world results

Disregard all traditional metrics, they have a role to play

Linear TV is still the most effective marketing channel for advertisers, and the way in which it can be measured and optimized has evolved significantly in recent years. To fully take advantage of TV’s potential, advertisers need to revisit the metrics they use to gauge campaign performance.

Simply relying on reach- and frequency-based metrics, TV measurement staples for decades, will no longer cut it. While things such as GRP, CPM and ratings certainly have a role to play in brand awareness, they don’t tell advertisers how spots drove response in the real-world.

Today’s advertisers need to measure TV through brand-specific, performance-based KPIs.

It’s all about using data-backed metrics that link campaign performance to business impact. These are metrics that answer the question, “how does our TV spend tie back to our corporate results?” So, what are they? Well, that depends on the brand.

Today, the touch of a smartphone is all it takes for a consumer to respond. There is no interruption, and responses can be directly connected to the content generating them. TV advertising, once used primarily for brand awareness or consideration, is now driving people directly into the customer journey via digital (search, site traffic, app activity, etc.). This is where measuring TV becomes brand-specific, and it’s where an advertiser can get really creative!

With the right technology, measuring a sale that is directly due to TV is easy. An advertiser can tie the spot airing to an immediate action like an online sale, subscription, registration, etc. Lower-consideration products typically enjoy conversions closer to the spot airing, but not every brand has that luxury.

For higher-consideration brands, the end result doesn’t happen right away, and directly tying a spot to a sale becomes more difficult. In cases like this, where a purchase might not happen for days, weeks or months, TV advertisers turn to action- or intent-based metrics.

For an auto manufacturer, this could be “find a dealership” form fills or “request a quote” queries. A cruise company might track “show me the deals” inquiries, or an online travel brand would measure new app downloads. A QSR might measure coupon downloads and usage.

A few years ago, advertisers might not think these type of middle-of-the-funnel activities would carry any monetary value. But actions that lead to sales, whether right away or weeks down the line, are quantifiable and excellent indicators of TV performance.

Take the guesswork out of TV advertising measurement. It’s time to leverage performance data to ensure your spots are reaching the right audience in the places and times that will drive maximum online and offline response.

Intent-based metrics are brand-specific, but here are a few more traditional metrics that hold value and are used by many TVSquared customers:
Return on advertising spend (ROAS) Marginal & incremental cost per acquisition (CPA)
Return on marketing investment (ROMI) Cost per registration (CPR)
Cost per visit (CPV) Cost per sale (CPS)

To learn more about how to measure and optimize TV, contact marketing@tvsquared.com for a demo.

Attributing TV’s Impact on Auto Purchases

The auto industry realizes TV’s value when it comes to brand awareness – its U.S. TV ad spend accounted for $6 billion last year. In fact, the IAB found broadcast TV to be the top media channel for influencing car and truck purchases. But what is less known is the critical role TV plays in driving search and promoting dealership visits. What makes these response points so important?

The Journey Starts Online

Multiple studies show that search is the first step of the customer journey. Almost 83% of purchasers research cars online, and 90% use dealer or OEM websites in the early stages of decision-making. The research/information-gathering phase of the buy is made online. So, what does this have to do with TV advertising?

TV is a primary driver of search.

Close to 90% of all viewers have a second-screen device in-hand or nearby when watching TV. They are active-participation viewers – when interested, they immediately engage online. Efficient Frontier found that TV ads drive branded search activity by as much as 80% (a finding confirmed from TVSquared’s own customers). Another study showed that 75% of incremental searches took place within two minutes of brands’ TV spots airing. Not only are viewers responding to TV through searches, but they’re doing so immediately after spots air.

TV Powers the Dealer

As the customer journey goes on, consumers look locally to visit dealerships and take test drives. In fact, more than 80% of customers take test drives during the car-buying process. Insights into Advertising estimates that 33.9% of local auto advertising is devoted to over-the-air TV. For auto advertisers, TV is also used for dealership discovery. But what truly drives local is, you guessed it, search.

TV provides brand awareness -> TV promotes search-> Search drives local

TVSquared works with some of the world’s most well-known auto brands to optimize TV campaigns to drive the right kind of response. Our customers improve TV effectiveness by up to 80%. One brand increased TV-driven search and site visits by 300%, all while reducing cost-per-response by 90%. So, how did they do it? While all companies are different (with varying goals for what they want to get from TV), here are some ways they reached TV success:

  • They use dynamic baselines: Static baselines lead to inaccurate results and costly errors. Baselines are inherently dynamic. Our auto clients leverage minute-by-minute baselines from same-day measurements to see how TV campaigns are performing in near-real-time.
  • They measure performance: Our auto customers have ditched ratings data to gauge TV campaign performance. It’s inaccurate, not timely and doesn’t tell them anything about performance. Instead, they analyze same-day spot and response data to see how every spot drives response – whether it’s search, site traffic, app activity, phone/SMS or even in-dealership foot traffic.
  • They buy based on response: Instead of buying TV to reach an untargeted, mass audience, they design TV strategy around attributable response – the actions generated. Since performance-based analysis is readily available, our auto brands know the buys that will not only reach desired audiences, but also in the places/times they are most likely to response.
  • They are always optimizing: Using same-day spot performance analysis, the auto brands readily and continuously optimize their campaigns – even ones still on air – for maximum response. It’s great to have the measurement insights, but they take it a step further and use that information to better in-flight and future performance.

To learn more about how TVSquared can help make TV work harder and smarter for your brand, visit www.tvsquared.com or contact marketing@tvsquared.com to set up a demo.



Optimize TV Ads During the Holidays (and All Year ‘Round!)

Your Holiday TV Ad Check List is Here! 

Holiday sales are expected to reach $5.1 trillion this year, and a third of all consumers will start shopping in October. While the majority of purchases are still made in-store, 85% of shoppers start their journey on digital devices, and e-commerce sales are expected to increase by 16.6%.

Effectively reaching shoppers who consume media via different channels and devices (often simultaneously) has never been more important. TV is a crucial part of the media mix – not only for reach and awareness, but also to directly drive both online and offline sales.

TV advertisers need to make a list and check it twice to ensure campaigns generate maximum response. Here are 5 tips to help you get there:

  1. Think differently about TV

Gone are the days of planning, buying and gauging TV success based on GRP or ratings data. Linear TV is now an optimizable marketing channel. With the right technologies, TV can reach target audiences with tailored messages, you can accurately know who’s watching and when, you can measure impact and you can optimize on-air spots.

2. Reevaluate calls-to-action

More than 87% of TV viewers watch with second-screen devices in-hand or nearby. Whether we realize it or not, we engage digitally with TV every day. Using bold, digital calls-to-action within TV ads help advertisers take advantage of these second-screeners. Tell viewers to go straight to your site, download an app or text right now. Consumers are “in the moment,” so encourage them to engage – and engage now!

3. Establish a dynamic baseline

Static baselines lead to inaccurate results and costly errors. Baselines are inherently dynamic, and yours has to be too. Minute-by-minute baselines from same-day measurements show how TV campaigns are preforming while they’re running.

4. Understand TV’s immediate impact

Knowing the short-term effect of TV is crucial. Don’t wait weeks to analyze performance. Day-of analysis from website traffic, apps, phone, search and SMS show how TV is impacting ROI right now. If you’re looking at old data to gauge TV performance, you’re missing out on major opportunities.

5. Embrace in-flight optimization  

You’ve been told that in-flight changes to TV campaigns can’t happen. This isn’t true. Understanding the immediate impact of your TV spots – knowing what’s working and what’s not – you can make day, daypart, program, genre and network changes to remedy the issue while your campaign is still on-air. (Of course, scatter and clearance buys make these changes easier.)

Now’s the time to reevaluate your TV campaign performance – and optimize spots for maximum online and offline sales. Make TV a performance-driven channel for you this holiday season and beyond.

Want to learn more about measuring and optimizing TV ads? Read more of TVSquared’s holiday insights.

dmexco: The Programmatic TV “Holy Grail”

It’s an advertiser’s dream to deliver targeted content via programmatic. And while the industry has certainly made progress, there are significant obstacles to overcome in order to seamlessly integrate programmatic into TV advertising.

Marlene Grimm, analytics manager at TVSquared, is speaking on this very topic tomorrow at dmexco (11:30 a.m.-11:50 a.m. in the Speakers’ Forum). If you’re going to the event, be sure to attend (and say “hi” afterward!); if you’re not, here’s a quick look at her session:

It’s fair to say the TV ad industry is on the cusp of something truly revolutionary in terms of programmatic. However, current hurdles have to be addressed:

  • Legislation Concerns: Legislation surrounding the TV ad industry is complex. Each country in which programmatic trading is to be rolled out faces legislative restrictions on the content aired. Privacy is also a concern, as there’s a fine line between accessing anonymous data and data considered to be PII.
  • Inventory: The primary mechanism for delivering to “targeted” inventory is via MVPDs. Out of 15 minutes per hour of total ad content, U.S. MVPDs are granted just two minutes to sell directly to advertisers. These timeframes make it difficult enough to trade via programmatic. The lack of inventory is largely due to broadcasters’ fears that they’ll lose content control, as well as substantial amounts of revenue.
  • Operational Challenges: The very nature of programmatic is that the whole process – selecting a spot, agreeing on a price and delivering ready-to-air content to the broadcaster – takes place in a matter of milliseconds. With TV, all of these millisecond elements are problematic.

If we can agree on the rules governing programmatic, inform and reassure broadcasters and refine technology, then the programmatic TV dream can become a reality.

In the meantime, TV advertisers can leverage today’s sophisticated analytical technologies to better target customers, measure TV’s impact and optimize campaigns for maximum efficiency. While the programmatic TV “Holy Grail” is some years away, TV is an optimized marketing channel – just like digital – providing advertisers with a broad reach, as well as the precision to target the right customers, in the right places and times for the greatest response.

TV’s Digital “Kicker Effect” – Part 1

The average American watches 4+ hours of TV each day – and 90% have digital devices in-hand or nearby while viewing. Reach and frequency make TV a powerful tool for advertisers, but the rise of second-screen usage has only increased its efficacy.

Whether we’re aware of it or not, all of us digitally interact with TV. We turn to search, websites and apps to learn more about the things we see/hear on TV ads. This is what we mean by TV’s digital “kicker effect.”

At TVSquared, we see TV drive – literally every minute of the day – as much as 10x the baseline traffic through digital channels for our customers. And while we can talk “kicker effect” all day, don’t just take our word for it. There are many objective studies that prove it too, which is why we recently published an ebook on the very topic.

The ebook takes a look at the impact of TV ads on various digital response channels, and shares the most recent third-party research. Here’s a sneak peek:

  • Website Traffic: Studies have shown consumers visit an advertiser’s site within minutes, even seconds, after a TV spot airs.
  • Search: TV ads significantly influence search spikes and, in some cases, drive up branded search by 80%.
  • App Activity: Apps account for more than half of all digital time spent, and TV ads have been found to increase app installs between 56-74%.
  • Social: It’s no surprise that TV drives social, but even we were surprised by just how much. One 2016 study found that 20% of social media brand engagements were driven by TV ads.
  • Emerging Channels: Evidence is building around TV’s influence on text and voice response – two emerging marketing channels that advertisers need to consider.

Download the free ebook, “TV’s Kicker Effect: Drive Digital Response Via TV Advertising,” to learn more.

In part two of our Kicker Effect blog series, we’ll discuss what this all means for advertisers, and share tips for optimizing TV campaigns for digital response.